The New England Patriots have been frequently mentioned as a potential fit for Cam Newton after they lost Tom Brady in free agency, but multiple reports have said they have no interest in the former NFL MVP. Should the team’s financial situation change in the coming weeks, however, things might get a bit more interesting.
One of the reasons that has been listed for the Patriots’ lack of interest in Newton is that offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who was linked to the Carolina Panthers head coaching job earlier this offseason, is not all that high on Cam. Greg Bedard of Boston Sports Journal wrote on Sunday that McDaniels hasn’t really formed an opinion on Newton, and the coach never actually met with the Panthers to have an opportunity to express any negative thoughts about the 30-year-old.
As Bedard sees it, Bill Belichick’s interest in Newton is linked to the Patriots salary cap situation. The team had less than $1 million in cap space as of Sunday, which leaves no room to sign a player like Newton. However, $14.7 million of the cap is currently dedicated to offensive lineman Joe Thuney, whom the Patriots franchise tagged earlier this offseason. If New England signs Thuney to an extension or trades him, that could open up a significant chunk of money. Should that happen, Belichick might circle back on Newton.
The Patriots seem content to move forward with second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham as their starter, though that may have more to do with finances and a shortened offseason than anything. Belichick hinted recently that the team could add another quarterback, and there is reason to believe Newton’s expectations for the 2020 season are changing. He’d surely welcome the opportunity to play for the Pats and prove the doubters wrong.